It would be nice to quit your job and go traveling, wouldn’t it? Well, I’ll tell you what: it is. I left my job and began traveling the world at an early age. However, it can also get a bit depressing at times. It’s important to know what to look out for if you choose to go traveling so that you can make sure you’re protecting your mental health.
The first thing to recognize is that traveling might be a great temporary escape, but if you’re of the mind that ‘running away’ from your problems by traveling will solve everything, it won’t. Problems – particularly psychological and emotional problems – follow you wherever you go, and there’s no way that you can get away with them until you’re upfront about them and seek treatment.
Even Successful Travel Bloggers Get Sad
If you’re following popular travel bloggers, then you’ve probably heard about Nuseir Yassin, better known as Nas Daily. He’s one of the most people vloggers (video bloggers) on Facebook, who makes videos about his travels around the world while getting paid for it.
Even he says that sometimes he gets lonely. He says that you have no base, sometimes, and no friends, and it can feel a lot like it’s just you pitted against a big world.
In addition to these problems, there are a number of issues that can arise if you’re traveling in unfamiliar territory, especially if you’re by yourself:
- Anxiety. Being in an unfamiliar place where people may not speak your language is a huge catalyst for anxiety.
- Depression. Things like homesickness and loneliness can contribute to depression even in people who were not previously depressed.
- Addiction. Some people find that they are more prone to addiction when they are traveling. Going out for a few drinks is a great way to meet people, but it can become an unhealthy habit or a crutch in a place where you know very few people.
What to Do if You’re Traveling and Depressed
If you’re traveling and you’re feeling depressed, or if you’re beginning to experience any of the other mental health problems that have been discussed in this article, it’s important that you seek help – even if you’re on the road.
Mental health is not something to be taken lightly, and problems that seem small on the onset can lead to larger issues in the future. There are lots of things that travelers can do:
- Take an online test to determine whether or not you’re depressed
- Find a local therapist or counselor in one of the places you’ll be staying, assuming that you speak the language. You’ll probably have to book in advance, before you’re actually in the area. Mind has good information on how you can find a therapist.
- Consider writing out your thoughts in the meantime. No, this is not a replacement for real therapy. However, writing out your thoughts in a journal-like fashion can help alleviate some of your challenges, at least in the interim. In fact, there are a range of benefits to this.
Taking care of your mental health should always be of paramount importance, so make sure you keep these tips in mind before you go traveling